The British Isles are a group of islands off the north-western coast of continental Europe that consist of the islands of Great Britain and over six thousand smaller isles. Situated in the North Atlantic, the islands have an area of approximately 315,159 km2. Two sovereign states are located on the islands and the United Kingdom of Great Britain, the oldest rocks in the group are in the north west of Scotland and North Wales and are 2,700 million years old. During the Silurian period the north-western regions collided with the south-east, the topography of the islands is modest in scale by global standards. Ben Nevis rises to an elevation of only 1,344 metres, and Lough Neagh, the climate is temperate marine, with mild winters and warm summers. The North Atlantic Drift brings significant moisture and raises temperatures 11 °C above the average for the latitude. This led to a landscape which was dominated by temperate rainforest. The region was re-inhabited after the last glacial period of Quaternary glaciation, which became an island by 12,000 BC, was not inhabited until after 8000 BC.
Great Britain became an island by 5600 BC, Hiberni and Britons tribes, all speaking Insular Celtic, inhabited the islands at the beginning of the 1st millennium AD. Much of Brittonic-controlled Britain was conquered by the Roman Empire from AD43, the first Anglo-Saxons arrived as Roman power waned in the 5th century and eventually dominated the bulk of what is now England. Viking invasions began in the 9th century, followed by permanent settlements. Most of Ireland seceded from the United Kingdom after the Irish War of Independence, the term British Isles is controversial in Ireland, where there are objections to its usage due to the association of the word British with Ireland. The Government of Ireland does not recognise or use the term, as a result and Ireland is used as an alternative description, and Atlantic Archipelago has had limited use among a minority in academia, while British Isles is still commonly employed. Within them, they are sometimes referred to as these islands. The earliest known references to the islands as a group appeared in the writings of sea-farers from the ancient Greek colony of Massalia.
The original records have been lost, writings, e. g. Avienuss Ora maritima, in the 1st century BC, Diodorus Siculus has Prettanikē nēsos, the British Island, and Prettanoi, the Britons. Strabo used Βρεττανική, and Marcian of Heraclea, in his Periplus maris exteri, historians today, though not in absolute agreement, largely agree that these Greek and Latin names were probably drawn from native Celtic-language names for the archipelago. Along these lines, the inhabitants of the islands were called the Πρεττανοί, the shift from the P of Pretannia to the B of Britannia by the Romans occurred during the time of Julius Caesar
Fellow of the Royal Society
As of 2016, there are around 1600 living Fellows and Honorary Members. Fellowship of the Royal Society has been described by The Guardian newspaper as “the equivalent of a lifetime achievement Oscar” with several institutions celebrating their announcement each year. Up to 60 new Fellows and foreign members are elected annually usually in May, each candidate is considered on their merits and can be proposed from any sector of the scientific community. Fellows are elected for life on the basis of excellence in science and are entitled to use the post-nominal letters FRS, see Category, Fellows of the Royal Society and Category, Female Fellows of the Royal Society. Every year, Fellows elect up to ten new Foreign Members, like Fellows, Foreign Members are elected for life through peer review on the basis of excellence in science. As of 2016 there are around 165 Foreign Members, who are entitled to use the post-nominal ForMemRS, see Category, Foreign Members of the Royal Society. Honorary Fellows include Bill Bryson, Melvyn Bragg, Robin Saxby, David Sainsbury, Baron Sainsbury of Turville, Honorary Fellows are entitled to use the post nominal letters HonFRS.
Others including John Maddox, Patrick Moore and Lisa Jardine were elected as honorary fellows, statute 12 is a legacy mechanism for electing members before official honorary membership existed in 1997. Fellows elected under statute 12 include David Attenborough and John Palmer, prime Ministers of the United Kingdom such as Margaret Thatcher, Neville Chamberlain, H. H. Asquith were elected under statute 12, see Category, Fellows of the Royal Society. The Council of the Royal Society can recommend members of the British Royal Family for election as Royal Fellows of the Royal Society. As of 2016 there are five royal fellows, Prince of Wales, Princess Royal, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Andrew, Duke of York. Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II is not a Royal Fellow, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was elected under statute 12, not as a Royal Fellow. The election of new fellows is announced annually in May, after their nomination, each candidate for Fellowship or Foreign Membership is nominated by two Fellows of the Royal Society, who sign a certificate of proposal.
Previously, nominations required at least five fellows to support each nomination by the proposer, the certificate of election includes a statement of the principal grounds on which the proposal is being made. There is no limit on the number of nominations each year. In 2015, there were 654 candidates for election as Fellows and 106 candidates for Foreign Membership. The final list of up to 52 Fellowship candidates and up to 10 Foreign Membership candidates is confirmed by the Council in April, a candidate is elected if he or she secures two-thirds of votes of those Fellows present and voting. A further maximum of six can be ‘Honorary’, ‘General’ or ‘Royal’ Fellows, nominations for Fellowship are peer reviewed by sectional committees, each with fifteen members and a chair
It is one of six areas in the world where ancient civilization arose independently, and the second in the Americas along with Norte Chico in present-day northern coastal Peru. As a cultural area, Mesoamerica is defined by a mosaic of cultural traits developed and shared by its indigenous cultures, while Mesoamerican civilization did know of the wheel and basic metallurgy, neither of these technologies became culturally important. Among the earliest complex civilizations was the Olmec culture, which inhabited the Gulf coast of Mexico and extended inland, frequent contact and cultural interchange between the early Olmec and other cultures in Chiapas and Oaxaca laid the basis for the Mesoamerican cultural area. All this was facilitated by considerable regional communications in ancient Mesoamerica and this Formative period saw the spread of distinct religious and symbolic traditions, as well as artistic and architectural complexes. In the subsequent Preclassic period, complex urban polities began to develop among the Maya, with the rise of such as El Mirador and Tikal.
Mesoamerica is one of three regions of the world where writing is known to have independently developed. Upon the collapse of Teotihuacán around AD600, competition between several important political centers in central Mexico, such as Xochicalco and Cholula, ensued. During the early period, Central Mexico was dominated by the Toltec culture, Oaxaca by the Mixtec. Towards the end of the period, the Aztecs of Central Mexico built a tributary empire covering most of central Mesoamerica. The distinct Mesoamerican cultural tradition ended with the Spanish conquest in the 16th century, over the next centuries, Mesoamerican indigenous cultures were gradually subjected to Spanish colonial rule. The exact geographic extent of Mesoamerica has varied through time, as the civilization extended North and South from its heartland in southern Mexico, Mesoamerica is recognized as a near-prototypical cultural area, and the term is now fully integrated in the standard terminology of pre-Columbian anthropological studies.
Conversely, the sister terms Aridoamerica and Oasisamerica, which refer to northern Mexico, 10° and 22° northern latitude, Mesoamerica possesses a complex combination of ecological systems, topographic zones, and environmental contexts. A main distinction groups these different niches into two categories, the lowlands and the altiplanos, or highlands. In the low-lying regions, sub-tropical and tropical climates are most common, as is true for most of the coastline along the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. The highlands show much more diversity, ranging from dry tropical to cold mountainous climates. The rainfall varies from the dry Oaxaca and north Yucatan to the humid southern Pacific, several distinct sub-regions within Mesoamerica are defined by a convergence of geographic and cultural attributes. These sub-regions are more conceptual than culturally meaningful, and the demarcation of their limits is not rigid, the Maya area, for example, can be divided into two general groups, the lowlands and highlands.
The lowlands are further divided into the southern and northern Maya lowlands, the southern Maya lowlands are generally regarded as encompassing northern Guatemala, southern Campeche and Quintana Roo in Mexico, and Belize
Archaeology, or archeology, is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. The archaeological record consists of artifacts, biofacts or ecofacts, Archaeology can be considered both a social science and a branch of the humanities. In North America, archaeology is considered a sub-field of anthropology, archaeologists study human prehistory and history, from the development of the first stone tools at Lomekwi in East Africa 3.3 million years ago up until recent decades. Archaeology as a field is distinct from the discipline of palaeontology, Archaeology is particularly important for learning about prehistoric societies, for whom there may be no written records to study. Prehistory includes over 99% of the human past, from the Paleolithic until the advent of literacy in societies across the world, Archaeology has various goals, which range from understanding culture history to reconstructing past lifeways to documenting and explaining changes in human societies through time.
The discipline involves surveying and eventually analysis of data collected to learn more about the past, in broad scope, archaeology relies on cross-disciplinary research. Archaeology developed out of antiquarianism in Europe during the 19th century, Archaeology has been used by nation-states to create particular visions of the past. Nonetheless, archaeologists face many problems, such as dealing with pseudoarchaeology, the looting of artifacts, a lack of public interest, the science of archaeology grew out of the older multi-disciplinary study known as antiquarianism. Antiquarians studied history with attention to ancient artifacts and manuscripts. Tentative steps towards the systematization of archaeology as a science took place during the Enlightenment era in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, in Europe, philosophical interest in the remains of Greco-Roman civilization and the rediscovery of classical culture began in the late Middle Age. Antiquarians, including John Leland and William Camden, conducted surveys of the English countryside, one of the first sites to undergo archaeological excavation was Stonehenge and other megalithic monuments in England.
John Aubrey was a pioneer archaeologist who recorded numerous megalithic and other monuments in southern England. He was ahead of his time in the analysis of his findings and he attempted to chart the chronological stylistic evolution of handwriting, medieval architecture and shield-shapes. Excavations were carried out in the ancient towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum and these excavations began in 1748 in Pompeii, while in Herculaneum they began in 1738. The discovery of entire towns, complete with utensils and even human shapes, prior to the development of modern techniques, excavations tended to be haphazard, the importance of concepts such as stratification and context were overlooked. The father of archaeological excavation was William Cunnington and he undertook excavations in Wiltshire from around 1798, funded by Sir Richard Colt Hoare. Cunnington made meticulous recordings of neolithic and Bronze Age barrows, one of the major achievements of 19th century archaeology was the development of stratigraphy.
The idea of overlapping strata tracing back to successive periods was borrowed from the new geological and paleontological work of scholars like William Smith, James Hutton, the application of stratigraphy to archaeology first took place with the excavations of prehistorical and Bronze Age sites
A pyramid is a structure whose outer surfaces are triangular and converge to a single point at the top, making the shape roughly a pyramid in the geometric sense. The base of a pyramid can be trilateral, quadrilateral, or any polygon shape, as such, a pyramid has at least three outer triangular surfaces. The square pyramid, with base and four triangular outer surfaces, is a common version. A pyramids design, with the majority of the closer to the ground. This distribution of weight allowed early civilizations to create stable monumental structures and it has been demonstrated that the common shape of the pyramids of antiquity, from Egypt to Central America, represents the dry-stone construction that requires minimum human work. Pyramids have been built by civilizations in many parts of the world, khufus Pyramid is built mainly of limestone, and is considered an architectural masterpiece. It contains over 2,000,000 blocks ranging in weight from 2.5 tonnes to 15 tonnes and is built on a base with sides measuring about 230 m.
Its four sides face the four cardinal points precisely and it has an angle of 52 degrees and it is still the tallest pyramid. The largest pyramid by volume is the Great Pyramid of Cholula, the Mesopotamians built the earliest pyramidal structures, called ziggurats. In ancient times, these were painted in gold/bronze. Since they were constructed of sun-dried mud-brick, little remains of them, ziggurats were built by the Sumerians, Elamites and Assyrians for local religions. Each ziggurat was part of a complex which included other buildings. The precursors of the ziggurat were raised platforms that date from the Ubaid period during the fourth millennium BC, the earliest ziggurats began near the end of the Early Dynastic Period. The latest Mesopotamian ziggurats date from the 6th century BC, built in receding tiers upon a rectangular, oval, or square platform, the ziggurat was a pyramidal structure with a flat top. Sun-baked bricks made up the core of the ziggurat with facings of fired bricks on the outside, the facings were often glazed in different colors and may have had astrological significance.
Kings sometimes had their names engraved on these glazed bricks, the number of tiers ranged from two to seven. It is assumed that they had shrines at the top, but there is no evidence for this. Access to the shrine would have been by a series of ramps on one side of the ziggurat or by a ramp from base to summit
University of Sydney
The University of Sydney is an Australian public research university in Sydney, Australia. Founded in 1850, it is Australias first university and is regarded as one of the leading universities. The university comprises 16 faculties and schools, through which it offers bachelor, master, in 2011 it had 32,393 undergraduate and 16,627 graduate students. The university is known as one of Australias sandstone universities. Five Nobel and two Crafoord laureates have been affiliated with the university as graduates and faculty, the university has educated six prime ministers and 24 justices of the High Court of Australia, including four chief justices. Sydney has produced 24 Rhodes Scholars and several Gates Scholars and it would take two attempts on Wentworths behalf, before the plan was finally adopted. The university was established via the passage of the University of Sydney Act, two years later, the university was inaugurated on 11 October 1852 in the Big Schoolroom of what is now Sydney Grammar School.
The first principal was John Woolley, the first professor of chemistry, by 1859, the university had moved to its current site in the Sydney suburb of Camperdown. Most of the estate of John Henry Challis was bequeathed to the university and this was thanks in part due to William Montagu Manning who argued against the claims by British Tax Commissioners. The following year seven professorships were created, zoology, history, law and mental philosophy, the New England University College was founded as part of the University of Sydney in 1938 and separated in 1954 to become the University of New England. During the late 1960s, the University of Sydney was at the centre of rows to introduce courses on Marxism and feminism at the major Australian universities, prior to 1981, the Sydney Institute of Education was the Sydney Teachers College. In January 2005, the University of Sydney transferred the OAC to Charles Sturt University, in February 2007, the university agreed to acquire a portion of the land granted to St Johns College to develop the Sydney Institute of Health and Medical Research.
This caused concern among some groups, who argued that it would interfere with scientific medical research, at the start of 2010, the university controversially adopted a new logo. It retains the same university arms, however it takes on a modern look. The original Coat of Arms from 1857 continues to be used for ceremonial and other formal purposes, concerns about public funding for higher education were reflected again in 2014 following the federal governments proposal to deregulate student fees. In order to enhance its competitiveness locally and internationally, the university has introduced plans to consolidate existing degrees to reduce the overall number of programs. In 2001, the University of Sydney chancellor, Dame Leonie Kramer, was forced to resign by the governing body. In 2005, the Public Service Association of New South Wales, action initiated by Spence to improve the financial sustainability of the university has alienated some students and staff
Living along the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates, Sumerian farmers were able to grow an abundance of grain and other crops, the surplus of which enabled them to settle in one place. Proto-writing in the dates back to c.3000 BC. The earliest texts come from the cities of Uruk and Jemdet Nasr and date back to 3300 BC, modern historians have suggested that Sumer was first permanently settled between c.5500 and 4000 BC by a West Asian people who spoke the Sumerian language, an agglutinative language isolate. These conjectured, prehistoric people are now called proto-Euphrateans or Ubaidians, some scholars contest the idea of a Proto-Euphratean language or one substrate language. Reliable historical records begin much later, there are none in Sumer of any kind that have dated before Enmebaragesi. Juris Zarins believes the Sumerians lived along the coast of Eastern Arabia, todays Persian Gulf region, Sumerian civilization took form in the Uruk period, continuing into the Jemdet Nasr and Early Dynastic periods.
During the 3rd millennium BC, a cultural symbiosis developed between the Sumerians, who spoke a language isolate, and Akkadian-speakers, which included widespread bilingualism. The influence of Sumerian on Akkadian is evident in all areas, from lexical borrowing on a scale, to syntactic, morphological. This has prompted scholars to refer to Sumerian and Akkadian in the 3rd millennium BC as a Sprachbund, Sumer was conquered by the Semitic-speaking kings of the Akkadian Empire around 2270 BC, but Sumerian continued as a sacred language. Native Sumerian rule re-emerged for about a century in the Neo-Sumerian Empire or Third Dynasty of Ur approximately 2100-2000 BC, the term Sumerian is the common name given to the ancient non-Semitic-speaking inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Sumer, by the East Semitic-speaking Akkadians. The Sumerians referred to themselves as ùĝ saĝ gíg ga, phonetically /uŋ saŋ gi ga/, literally meaning the black-headed people, the Akkadian word Shumer may represent the geographical name in dialect, but the phonological development leading to the Akkadian term šumerû is uncertain.
Hebrew Shinar, Egyptian Sngr, and Hittite Šanhar, all referring to southern Mesopotamia, in the late 4th millennium BC, Sumer was divided into many independent city-states, which were divided by canals and boundary stones. Each was centered on a dedicated to the particular patron god or goddess of the city. The Sumerian city-states rose to power during the prehistoric Ubaid and Uruk periods, classical Sumer ends with the rise of the Akkadian Empire in the 23rd century BC. Following the Gutian period, there is a brief Sumerian Renaissance in the 21st century BC, the Amorite dynasty of Isin persisted until c.1700 BC, when Mesopotamia was united under Babylonian rule. The Sumerians were eventually absorbed into the Akkadian population, 2500–2334 BC Akkadian Empire period, c. 2218–2047 BC Ur III period, c, 2047–1940 BC The Ubaid period is marked by a distinctive style of fine quality painted pottery which spread throughout Mesopotamia and the Persian Gulf. It appears that this culture was derived from the Samarran culture from northern Mesopotamia and it is not known whether or not these were the actual Sumerians who are identified with the Uruk culture
Syrias capital and largest city is Damascus. Religious groups include Sunnis, Alawites, Mandeans, Salafis, Sunni Arabs make up the largest religious group in Syria. Its capital Damascus and largest city Aleppo are among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, in the Islamic era, Damascus was the seat of the Umayyad Caliphate and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt. The post-independence period was tumultuous, and a number of military coups. In 1958, Syria entered a union with Egypt called the United Arab Republic. Syria was under Emergency Law from 1963 to 2011, effectively suspending most constitutional protections for citizens, Bashar al-Assad has been president since 2000 and was preceded by his father Hafez al-Assad, who was in office from 1970 to 2000. Mainstream modern academic opinion strongly favours the argument that the Greek word is related to the cognate Ἀσσυρία, Assyria, in the past, others believed that it was derived from Siryon, the name that the Sidonians gave to Mount Hermon.
However, the discovery of the inscription in 2000 seems to support the theory that the term Syria derives from Assyria. The area designated by the word has changed over time, since approximately 10,000 BC, Syria was one of centers of Neolithic culture where agriculture and cattle breeding appeared for the first time in the world. The following Neolithic period is represented by houses of Mureybet culture. At the time of the pre-pottery Neolithic, people used vessels made of stone, finds of obsidian tools from Anatolia are evidences of early trade relations. Cities of Hamoukar and Emar played an important role during the late Neolithic, archaeologists have demonstrated that civilization in Syria was one of the most ancient on earth, perhaps preceded by only those of Mesopotamia. The earliest recorded indigenous civilisation in the region was the Kingdom of Ebla near present-day Idlib, gifts from Pharaohs, found during excavations, confirm Eblas contact with Egypt. One of the earliest written texts from Syria is an agreement between Vizier Ibrium of Ebla and an ambiguous kingdom called Abarsal c.2300 BC.
The Northwest Semitic language of the Amorites is the earliest attested of the Canaanite languages, Mari reemerged during this period, and saw renewed prosperity until conquered by Hammurabi of Babylon. Ugarit arose during this time, circa 1800 BC, close to modern Latakia, Ugaritic was a Semitic language loosely related to the Canaanite languages, and developed the Ugaritic alphabet. The Ugarites kingdom survived until its destruction at the hands of the marauding Indo-European Sea Peoples in the 12th century BC, Yamhad was described in the tablets of Mari as the mightiest state in the near east and as having more vassals than Hammurabi of Babylon. Yamhad imposed its authority over Alalakh, the Hurrians states, the army of Yamhad campaigned as far away as Dēr on the border of Elam
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, often regarded as one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Founded in 1209 and given royal status by King Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world. The university grew out of an association of scholars who left the University of Oxford after a dispute with the townspeople, the two ancient universities share many common features and are often referred to jointly as Oxbridge. Cambridge is formed from a variety of institutions which include 31 constituent colleges, Cambridge University Press, a department of the university, is the worlds oldest publishing house and the second-largest university press in the world. The university operates eight cultural and scientific museums, including the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridges libraries hold a total of around 15 million books, eight million of which are in Cambridge University Library, a legal deposit library.
In the year ended 31 July 2015, the university had an income of £1.64 billion. The central university and colleges have an endowment of around £5.89 billion. The university is linked with the development of the high-tech business cluster known as Silicon Fen. It is a member of associations and forms part of the golden triangle of leading English universities and Cambridge University Health Partners. As of 2017, Cambridge is ranked the fourth best university by three ranking tables and no other institution in the world ranks in the top 10 for as many subjects. Cambridge is consistently ranked as the top university in the United Kingdom, the university has educated many notable alumni, including eminent mathematicians, politicians, philosophers, writers and foreign Heads of State. Ninety-five Nobel laureates, fifteen British prime ministers and ten Fields medalists have been affiliated with Cambridge as students, faculty, by the late 12th century, the Cambridge region already had a scholarly and ecclesiastical reputation, due to monks from the nearby bishopric church of Ely.
The University of Oxford went into suspension in protest, and most scholars moved to such as Paris, Reading. After the University of Oxford reformed several years later, enough remained in Cambridge to form the nucleus of the new university. A bull in 1233 from Pope Gregory IX gave graduates from Cambridge the right to teach everywhere in Christendom, the colleges at the University of Cambridge were originally an incidental feature of the system. No college is as old as the university itself, the colleges were endowed fellowships of scholars. There were institutions without endowments, called hostels, the hostels were gradually absorbed by the colleges over the centuries, but they have left some indicators of their time, such as the name of Garret Hostel Lane. Hugh Balsham, Bishop of Ely, founded Peterhouse, Cambridges first college, the most recently established college is Robinson, built in the late 1970s
University College London
University College London is a public research university in London, and a constituent college of the federal University of London. It is the largest postgraduate institution in the UK by enrollment and is regarded as one of the worlds leading research universities. UCL makes the claims of being the third-oldest university in England. In 1836 UCL became one of the two founding colleges of the University of London, which was granted a charter in the same year. UCL has its campus in the Bloomsbury area of central London, with a number of institutes and teaching hospitals elsewhere in central London. UCL is organised into 11 constituent faculties, within there are over 100 departments, institutes. In 2015/16, UCL had around 38,300 students and 12,000 staff and had an income of £1.36 billion. UCL ranks highly in national and international league tables and its graduates rank among the most employable in the world, UCL academics discovered five of the naturally occurring noble gases, co-discovered hormones, invented the vacuum tube, and made several foundational advances in modern statistics.
There are at least 29 Nobel Prize winners and 3 Fields medalists amongst UCLs alumni and current, UCL was founded on 11 February 1826 under the name London University, as an alternative to the Anglican universities of Oxford and Cambridge. London Universitys first Warden was Leonard Horner, who was the first scientist to head a British university and this suggests that while his ideas may have been influential, he himself was less so. In 1827, the Chair of Political Economy at London University was created, with John Ramsay McCulloch as the first incumbent, in 1828 the university became the first in England to offer English as a subject and the teaching of Classics and medicine began. In 1830, London University founded the London University School, which would become University College School, in 1833, the university appointed Alexander Maconochie, Secretary to the Royal Geographical Society, as the first professor of geography in the UK. In 1834, University College Hospital opened as a hospital for the universitys medical school.
In 1836, London University was incorporated by charter under the name University College. The Slade School of Fine Art was founded as part of University College in 1871, in 1878, the University of London gained a supplemental charter making it the first British university to be allowed to award degrees to women. The same year, UCL admitted women to the faculties of Arts and Law and of Science, although women remained barred from the faculties of Engineering and of Medicine. Armstrong College, an institution of Newcastle University, allowed women to enter from its foundation in 1871. Women were finally admitted to medical studies during the First World War in 1917, in 1898, Sir William Ramsay discovered the elements krypton and xenon whilst professor of chemistry at UCL
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom or Britain, is a sovereign country in western Europe. Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, the United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland, with an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world and the 11th-largest in Europe. It is the 21st-most populous country, with an estimated 65.1 million inhabitants, this makes it the fourth-most densely populated country in the European Union. The United Kingdom is a monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. The monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 6 February 1952, other major urban areas in the United Kingdom include the regions of Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester.
The United Kingdom consists of four countries—England, Wales, the last three have devolved administrations, each with varying powers, based in their capitals, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. The relationships among the countries of the UK have changed over time, Wales was annexed by the Kingdom of England under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. A treaty between England and Scotland resulted in 1707 in a unified Kingdom of Great Britain, which merged in 1801 with the Kingdom of Ireland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, there are fourteen British Overseas Territories. These are the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, British influence can be observed in the language and legal systems of many of its former colonies. The United Kingdom is a country and has the worlds fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP. The UK is considered to have an economy and is categorised as very high in the Human Development Index.
It was the worlds first industrialised country and the worlds foremost power during the 19th, the UK remains a great power with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally. It is a nuclear weapons state and its military expenditure ranks fourth or fifth in the world. The UK has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946 and it has been a leading member state of the EU and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. However, on 23 June 2016, a referendum on the UKs membership of the EU resulted in a decision to leave. The Acts of Union 1800 united the Kingdom of Great Britain, Scotland and Northern Ireland have devolved self-government
St John's College, Cambridge
St Johns College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. The college was founded by Lady Margaret Beaufort, in constitutional terms, the college is a charitable corporation established by a charter dated 9 April 1511. The aims of the college, as specified by its Statutes, are the promotion of education, learning, the colleges alumni include the winners of ten Nobel Prizes, seven prime ministers and twelve archbishops of various countries, at least two princes, and three Saints. HRH Prince William was affiliated with St Johns while undertaking a course in 2014. St Johns College is known for its choir, its members success in a wide variety of inter-collegiate sporting competitions. In 2011 the college celebrated its quincentenary, an event marked by a visit of HM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The college was founded on the site of the 13th-century Hospital of St John in Cambridge at the suggestion of Saint John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester and chaplain to Lady Margaret Beaufort.
However, Lady Margaret died without having mentioned the foundation of St Johns in her will, and it was largely the work of Fisher that ensured that the college was founded. He had to obtain the approval of King Henry VIII of England, the Pope through the intermediary Polydore Vergil, the college received its charter on 9 April 1511. In November 1512 the Court of Chancery allowed Lady Margarets executors to pay for the foundation of the college from her estates, when Lady Margarets executors took over they found most of the old Hospital buildings beyond repair, but repaired and incorporated the Chapel into the new college. A kitchen and hall were added, and a gate tower was constructed for the College Treasury. The doors were to be closed each day at dusk, sealing the monastic community from the outside world. Over the course of the five hundred years, the college expanded westwards towards the River Cam, and now has eleven courts. The first three courts are arranged in enfilade, St Johns College first admitted women in October 1981, when K. M.
Wheeler was admitted to the fellowship, along with nine female graduate students. The first women undergraduates arrived a year later, St Johns distinctive Great Gate follows the standard contemporary pattern employed previously at Christs College and Queens College. The gatehouse is crenelated and adorned with the arms of the foundress Lady Margaret Beaufort, above these are displayed her ensigns, the Red Rose of Lancaster and Portcullis. The college arms are flanked by curious creatures known as yales, mythical beasts with elephants tails, antelopes bodies, goats heads, and swivelling horns. Above them is a tabernacle containing a figure of St John the Evangelist